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The Cambodian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, CAPPD on 10 October 2012 launched the strategic plan 2012-2017 to promote the rights and address the needs of the people through improved policies in the population and development agenda.

In a speech at the launch, the President of the National Assembly Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin confirmed that the strategy is a roadmap for the CAPPD to reinforce its coordinating role to mobilize political support from policy makers in addressing population-related issues through the improved policy intervention.

"The strategy provides a holistic framework that creates an enabling environment to overcome the challenges faced by Cambodia", said the National Assembly President.

The strategy revealed top five population and development issues such as rising numbers of youth, migration, lack of health facilities and accessibility, gender inequalities and gender-based violence, and maternal health and maternal mortality.

In his remarks, Dr. Derveeuw Marc, UNFPA Representative recognized that significant progress has been made in Cambodia over the past decade especially in the reduction of the maternal mortality, infant and child mortality, and fertility. However, it is critical that the momentum needs to be maintained to avoid the complacency.

"The strategic plan takes into consideration that the demographic window of economic opportunity has opened and we will see a rising number of young people who will contribute to the growing economy in the coming years", said Dr. Derveeuw.

The parliamentarians not only play a critical role in democratizing the country, but they act as the bridge between the individuals and their government, making the voice and concern of their constituencies louder and ensuring that the rights and the needs of the people are addressed appropriately.

The strategy shows explicit approaches how CAPPD can support parliamentarians in their future advocacy efforts to tackle population issues toward reaching the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action and the Millennium Development Goals and identify where CAPPD wants to be in the next five year and how it is going to get there.

Participants attending the launch include parliamentarians, senators, key government officials from health, women's affairs, education, youth and sports, labour and vocational training, social affairs, development partners and civil society.